Amsterdam’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan has written an open letter to British Amsterdammers updating them on what he and city hall officials have been doing to protect their post Brexit rights.
‘Amsterdam strives to be a capital city that is responsible for all its inhabitants… this includes you along with the 16,000 British citizens who currently call Amsterdam home,’ the mayor said in his letter.
The mayor said he has been in contact with prime minister Mark Rutte, top EU officials and the majors of the 27 capitals of the other European states about the concerns of the British community in the Netherlands.
Citizenship rights are a key issue on the ongoing Brexit negotiations and hundreds of Britons in the Netherlands are considering taking Dutch nationality to avoid losing their European rights.
The city has also commissioned researchers at the University of Amsterdam to look into the options open to British nationals both pre and post Brexit and to draw up strategic choices facing the city. The aim, Van der Laan said, is to ‘offer security of residence to those Britons currently living in the Netherlands.’
The report, based on an analysis of existing documentation, takes as a starting point the city’s wish to ensure that British citizens keep the same residency rights that they held before Brexit.
It recommends lobbying at a European, national and local level across a wide range of issues. Officials should ‘try where ever possible to ensure that any limitations for non-EU citizens contain in directives are not applied to Britons,’ the report’s authors say.
In particular, the Dutch government should be lobbied to make sure that residency rules which apply to non-EU citizens are not applied to British nationals and to relax the rules on dual nationality.
The researchers also suggest that Amsterdam inform the city’s British residents that they can undergo the integration requirements voluntarily, which will prevent delays or uncertainty after Brexit has taken place.
The city could also offer Britons help in passing the required language tests, once they have stopped being EU citizens, the report’s authors suggest.
The report itself is in Dutch but the foreword and recommendations are in English.
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